Assignment 3: Communication: Culture and Context
In this assignment, you will consider the effect of culture and context on communication. There are many definitions of culture, but most include a reference to shared patterns of behaviors and interactions, cognitive constructs, and effective understanding that are learned through a process of socialization. These shared patterns identify the members of a cultural group while also distinguishing those of another group. Culture is about symbols and language, and these elements are central to communication. The idea of something being “lost in translation” is readily apparent to most people who have studied another language and translated a passage into their own primary language. The rate of speech and importance of nonverbal aspects of communication are just a few ways culture can impact the message sent. The importance of context always varies by culture—for example, in some cultures, what is said is much more important than how it is said while in other cultures the “how” may carry much greater importance.
Using your textbook, the Argosy University online library resources, and the Internet, complete the following:
- Analyze a recent conversation you had with a person of a different culture. Or, if you haven’t had this type of conversation recently, find a video clip online that focuses on people from different cultures communicating and analyze the clip.
- Provide a brief synopsis of the conversation—what was the general content and context?
- Describe how you greeted this person. Did you greet this person with a kiss, a handshake, or some other cultural mannerism? Was there additional touching or no touching at all?
- Describe your physical proximity. How far were you standing from each other? What if any body language was evident? Did you maintain eye contact?
- Describe the physical characteristics that might be evident. What were you wearing? Were you dressed in casuals or in business attire? Describe what the other person was wearing. How might the apparel make a difference in the conversation?
- Describe the protocol for the conversation. Did you take turns talking, or did you both talk at the same time? How did you refer to each other? Do you feel like you had equal time to express yourself? Why or why not?
- Did the physical setting impact what was discussed? What did you talk about? How was the conversation brought to a close? What happened at the end?
- How might your own cultural affiliation have impacted this conversation? Do an analysis using support from scholarly sources.
- By Wednesday, January 13, 2016, prepare a 3- to 4-page paper. Your response should rely upon at least two sources from professional literature. This may include the Argosy University online library resources, relevant textbooks, peer-reviewed journal articles, and websites created by professional organizations, agencies, or institutions (.edu, .org, or .gov). Write in a clear, concise, and organized manner; demonstrate ethical scholarship in accurate representation and attribution of sources (i.e., APA format); and use accurate spelling, grammar, and punctuation.
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